800 homeless in Auckland

Newshub ?reports: quote:

The results of the country’s biggest ever homeless count have been revealed.

The official count was carried out on September 17, conducted by the Housing First Collective with support from Auckland Council. People sleeping on the street and in cars were counted as officially homeless.

It was the first time a street count of such size and scale has ever been undertaken in New Zealand.

On the night of the count, 179 adults were sleeping rough on Auckland’s streets while 157 were sleeping in cars. A validation exercise guided by Otago University statistician Dr Nevil Pierse estimated that number represented about 40 percent of the total number of homeless Aucklanders.

That means approximately 800 people are currently homeless in the city, with a further number totalling almost 3000 in transitional or emergency housing.?end quote.

So why did this article in?The Guardian?from last May, tell the world that New Zealand had the highest rate of homelessness in the OECD at approximately 40,000? What is more, the article also stated that about half of the country’s homeless live in Auckland.

I’m just a dumb accountant. Half of 40,000 is obviously 800. So 2% is the new 50%? Either that or my calculator needs new batteries. quote:

As well as the street count, Housing First learned there were 2974 people in temporary or emergency accommodation on the night of September 17. Of those, 1299 were children.

Housing First Auckland programme manager Fiona Hamilton says it’s vital to include those in temporary housing in the count as they represent some who would otherwise have been on the streets that night. end quote.

So that’s 3774. Still a very long way short of 20,000. quote:

She says the count wasn’t mean to provide a comprehensive depiction of Auckland’s homelessness problem, but rather a snapshot of the issue on a single night. end quote.

Okay. I get it. On the next night, there would have been another 16,226 on the streets of Auckland? (See? I can count.)

Of course not. Stories like the one by The Guardian are pure fiction, written to make an admittedly bad situation seem much worse than it really is and to garner sympathy for those in need. Although exactly why anyone would grossly inflate the number of homeless, I really can’t quite figure out. quote:

“Ultimately this count was about people, gathering this information to assign better support and helping our communities take another step forward in ending homelessness in Auckland so that it is rare, brief and non-recurring.” end quote.

Indeed it is about people, and in the current climate of high rents and low housing availability, not to mention over 6000 people waiting for state housing, it is hardly surprising that there are homeless people, particularly in Auckland. Yes, I agree that the authorities do need to try to solve the problem the best way they can.

What makes me really angry is how we have been told by the media for the past few years that we have a massive homelessness problem when clearly, we don’t. Now we know that media outlets have simply been fabricating numbers to try to make it all sound much worse than it really is.

I have sympathy with people who, for whatever reason, have ended up on the street, although I know it can be argued that some of them don’t deserve it. But it is hardly any wonder that people don’t trust the media any more when they have been caught out just making stuff up once again.